Frequently Asked Questions

New or Infrequent Shipper FAQ

Imports to the U.S. through the Port of Oakland

Imported goods must go through entry, inspection, appraisement, classification, and liquidation. Shippers are required to declare the value and determine the classification number of the merchandise.

Customs House Brokers assist with classifying shipments, calculating duties and taxes, completing and submitting Customs paperwork, acting as an agent with transportation providers and Customs, and arranging delivery upon arrival.

No, but it is highly recommended to use one due to the complexities of filing a clearance correctly and accurately.

The documents include an arrival notice, bill of lading, commercial invoice, entry manifest, and other supporting documents that Customs uses to determine the admissibility of merchandise into the U.S.

Exports from the U.S. through the Port of Oakland

It is recommended to use a Freight Forwarder to handle bookings with ocean carriers, drayage of shipments to terminals, and completion of Customs paperwork.

Freight Forwarders book space with ocean carriers, arrange shipment drayage, complete export declarations and licenses, and act as an agent with transportation providers.

Information on Ocean Carriers can be found through the Port of Oakland’s online shipping platform or facilities and services guide.

Maritime Services Directory

Ocean Carrier Service Routes


TWIC is Required at the Port of Oakland

TWIC is the Transportation Worker Identification Credential. It is a federal government ID that all port workers and truckers need to obtain.

  • Anyone who works in secure areas of marine terminals and
    needs unescorted access
  • Includes truckers, longshore labor, terminal and port workers, vendors and contractors

Pre-enroll online or visit the TWIC Enrollment Center at: 1101 Marina Village Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501. Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

TWIC toll-free number: (855) 347-8371

Usually no. Insurance and security issues prevent shipping lines from offering passenger service.

For more information on disqualifications go to Disqualifying Offenses Factors.

For more information on the status of your application go to Application Status Check